Borders dad set for ‘Everesting’ cycle in memory of late son

A BORDERS dad is taking on an Everest-sized challenge in remembrance of his little boy.

Richard Skipworth, 39, will cycle the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest on Father’s Day (June 20).

Richard’s son Alex died at three weeks old in February 2018 after having heart problems.

As part of his grieving process Richard took to cycling, which he calls his “Alex time”.

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“Cycling’s been my way of connecting with him still,” said Richard. “I go out on my bike regularly to get outside and clear my head and cope with my grief that way.”

And this year, to honour his son and help raise money for groups which have helped his family since their loss, Richard will cycle the height of Everest using a route at Loch Tay, Perthshire.

The challenge, known as an Everesting, will see Richard climb the uphill route a total of 29 times.

Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, stands at 29,029 feet.

For Richard, this Father’s Day will hold special significance as it will mark the 29,000th hour since the family lost baby Alex.

Border Telegraph: Richard Skipworth will take on the challenge on Father's Day (June 20). Photo: Helen BarringtonRichard Skipworth will take on the challenge on Father’s Day (June 20). Photo: Helen Barrington

“I connect with him [Alex] through numbers,” said Richard, “and there’s lots of these connections I’ve had over time where I’ve seen a strange coincidence in a number.

“And it happens to be on Father’s Day, which is another big coincidence with it being that passage of time.”

Richard, who works for EDF Energy in East Lothian, has spent the last 12 months training for his Everest challenge and has trialled his route in Perthshire.

In order to complete an Everesting, a rider must complete their entire route without taking a break for sleep.

Richard plans to begin cycling at 5pm on Saturday, June 19 and continue into Sunday.

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He added that his wife Katy and their two other children – 10-month-old Brodie and five-year-old Robyn – will stay at home in Oxton during the challenge.

“They probably won’t appreciate the relocation,” joked Richard.

However, when he completes his final laps, his parents and in-laws will be there to cheer him on.

Richard is supporting Held in Our Hearts, Glasgow Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, Glasgow – all of which offered him and his family support after Alex died.

To support Richard and donate, visit this website.

Border Telegraph | News